Open post, since we have some unanticipated time on our hands before the Roland Garros draw, for news, speculation, gossip, etc. about the job opening on Milos' team. To start us off:
May 13: Kohlschreiber d Milos 76(2) 64. The first set was close: even on stats except for two df's from Milos. But in the second set Kohlscreiber won twice as many return points -- including one-third of Milos' first serves, and had 5 break point chances vs none for Milos. >> http://www.tenniscanada.com/index.php?title=RAONIC-FALLS-IN-FIRST-ROUND-AT-ROME&pid=4598 <<
May 12: Milos plays Kohlschreiber Monday, May 13 at 7pm local time [1pm ET, 10am PT].
**Breaking News** -- Galo Blanco is no longer Milos' coach. They broke their relationship in Madrid, after two and a half years of success, which saw Milos rise from ATP#224 to #14, winning four titles along the way. The break is mutual and amicable. "I am grateful for all that Galo has done. He has helped me grow as a player and a person. Would not be where I am if not for him." >> http://www.sportsnet.ca/tennis/raonic-splits-with-tennis-coach-blanco/ <<
May 11: Draw is out: Milos plays Phillipp Kohlschreiber (ATP#22) first round. Phillip has been playing well on clay recently: made it to the Finals in Munich, Semis in Barcelona. If successful first round, Milos would play either Albert Ramos (ATP#65) or a Jan Hajek. Ramos has also been playing well on clay, taking Stan Wawrinka to three sets in Oeiras, beating Nishikori in R16 in Barcelona before falling to Rafa in the Quarters. Milos' likely third round opponent would be David Ferrer. >> http://www.internazionalibnlditalia.com/Share/Event-Draws.aspx?Year=2013&Draw=ms << Updates daily.
May 7: Verdasco squeaked past Raonic today, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7). Up 4-1 in the 3rd set tiebreak, Raonic couldn't put it away:
“I had hopes when I led 4-1 in the tiebreaker and when I saved those two match points. But in the end I was missing shots by quite a bit or he was playing well. I was letting him get ahead in points. It all depended on me today.” -- from the Globe and Mail today
“I should have done better than I did here. I’m capable of much better and hopefully I can show that,” said Raonic, now 18-7 this season. -- also from the Globe today
May 6: Milos squeaked past Davydenko today 75 76(5). Only 44% of first serves in, 4 double-faults, and "only" 6 aces; so it was Milos' return game -- including 29% of first return points -- that kept him in the match. Milos converted 1 out of 5 break points, and saved 2, including a set point. >> http://www.sportsnet.ca/tennis/canadas-raonic-beats-davydenko-in-madrid/ << Next up: Fernando Verdasco, on home clay, tomorrow (Tuesday, May 7) at 5pm [11am ET, 8am PT]. Milos has beaten Verdasco twice on hard-court, lost their last two meetings, on clay -- but that was two years ago. Milos has been playing well on clay this year, but this will be a tough test. Here's hoping Milos will be motivated to make Verdasco eat his words: >> http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/tennis/blog/busted_racquet/post/Verdasco-whines-that-Raonic-s-two-wins-didn-t-co?urn=ten-323464 <<
May 5: Milos will play N. Davydenko tomorrow (Monday, May 6) at approx. 2:30pm Madrid time [8:30am ET, 5:30am PT]. Joining Milos in the main draw will be Jesse Levine, who upset Igor Sijsling 63 64 in his second qualifying match today; Jesse will play Kevin Anderson tomorrow. Waiting in second round for Milos, if he wins against Davydenko, will be F. Verdasco, who beat D. Goffin today 76(2) 62.
May 3: Draw is out:
>> http://www.atpworldtour.com/Share/Event-Draws.aspx?Year=2013&EventId=1536&Draw=ms << [Updates daily]
Milos has drawn to Djokovic's quarter, but as 12th seed would probably meet Tsonga in R16, after Nikolay Davydenko (ATP#43) first round, then the winner of D. Goffin (ATP#61) vs F. Verdasco (ATP#45), second round.
Milos has teamed up with Grigor Dimitrov for doubles; will play T. Haas & R. Stepanek first round, then 8th seed J. Melzer & L. Paes. Likely QF opponents, if they get that far, would be the Bryan Brothers.
Also: by making it to the Munich F, Tommy Haas has picked up enough points to bump Milos down to #14 in the ATP live-rankings. >> http://live-tennis.eu/ << Milos remains at #11 in the ATP Race, behind Nico Almagro #9 and Roger Federer #10, but if Haas wins Munich he'll overtake Milos in the Race, too.
Movers and Shakers: Jesse Levine is up 6 in the live ATP rankings, to 88, after winning his first-round qualifying match at Madrid. And Vasek Pospisil is up 28 (!) in the rankings, to 103, after winning the Johannesburg Challenger.
Update, April 27th: Nadal defeats Raonic 6-4, 6-0. Nadal was on in the 2nd set, enough to push Milos right out of the match. Hopefully some positives for Raonic out of this, as he is responsible for Nadal having elevated his game- Almagro had better be ready for a good match tomorrow!
Update, April 26th: Milos defeats Gulbis and Robredo, sets up a semi-final match-up with Rafa Nadal tomorrow, April 27th! Catch it LIVE on Sportsnet ONE at 10am ET, 7am PT. Thank you Sportsnet!!
Update, April 25: Convincing 6-4, 6-2 Victory for Milos in his 1st Match in Barcelona over Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Milos' next Opponent will be Ernests Gulbis. [Daniel] ** Rain-delayed; now scheduled for Friday, April 26: two matches. **
Update, April 23: E. Roger-Vasselin has won his match against Hajek, so will be Milos' second round opponent, first up (11:00am) April 24 on Pista 1. Meanwhile F.Verdasco has fallen to qualifier Ernests Gulbis (ATP#53) who now waits for a potential third round match with Milos.
April 20: The Barcelona draw is out: >> http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2013/425/mds.pdf <<
...and it's not a bad one for Milos: as 5th seed he starts with a bye; in round 2 will play the winner of Edouard Roger-Vasselin (ATP#81) vs qualifier Jan Hajek (ATP#89). If Milos gets past second round he will likely meet [not Tuesday; probably Wednesday] Fernando Verdasco (ATP#31) -- very much at home on clay, but not having a great year so far. Success vs Verdasco would take Milos to the QF, likely against the winner of a Berdych vs Dimitrov match; either way a challenge, but a match to look forward to!
Update, April 20th
Monte Carlo finals just weren't meant to be for RaoTom-ic. They lost 6-3, 6-3 to the Bryans this afternoon...
Update, April 19th
Raonic/Tomic will take on Bryan/Bryan tomorrow in the Semi-Finals of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters. They are scheduled to be the final match on Court Central, directly following the Djokovic v. Fognini singles semi, which will start not before 3pm local time. I estimate that we'll get to watch the Milos starting around 11am (no sooner), but maybe as late as 12h00, noon, Eastern Time (EDT). Thanks to the schedulers for making their match timing North American lazy-weekend-day friendly!
I wouldn't mind seeing Milos have another shot at a doubles final, the first one in Halle with Robin Haase was exciting, though they didn't get away with the title. I'll definitely be watching the singles final on Sunday if it's Murray v. Djoko, a Milos match would do well to top it off...
In other news, Sportsnet.ca will be streaming the CAN v UKR Fed Cup matches from Kiev. This starts streaming online at 6am Easter (EDT) tomorrow. It will be accessible at:
Update, April 18th, again.....
RaoTomic will play the winner of the Bryan/Bryan vs. Melzer/Paes match, which is last up on "Court des Prince" tomorrow, Friday, April 19th. As per the last update, Tomic and Raonic have made the doubles semi-finals in this, their first clay-court tourney of the year (though they both came up short in singles). Monte Carlo 2013 may yet hold some glory for these youngsters, considered among the top future players on the ATP tour.
Update, April 18th
So, Milos Raonic and Bernard Tomic defeated Daniel Nestor and Robert Lindstedt in doubles today in Monte Carlo. It was a straight-sets victory, though a tiebreak was required in the first set.
This was the first tourney for the new partnership between Nestor and Lindstedt, I'm not sure what led to the demise, but I'm hoping it's not any nagging health concerns of Nestor's, we need him healthy for Davis Cup in Serbia in September!
It wasn't on TV, but if anyone knows of any news/comment about the match, please leave a comment!
Update, April 17th
Milos lost his 2nd round match today versus Jarko Niemenin. He went down in a 3rd set tie-break, after what seemed to be too many unforced errors racked up. He was able to keep his own 1st serve stats up but he wasn't able to return well enough, except for periods in the 2nd set, to mount a big challenge on the Nieminen serve. In the 3rd set he won 25% and 36% of 1st and 2nd return points, respectively, to Nieminen's 17% and 67%.
I watched parts of the 3rd set and I must say he didn't seem focused, or sharp. It was not pretty to see Milos play at a lower level than he usually does! He didn't seem like his head was in it for some reason. The unforced errors caught up to him the tiebreak, and Nieminen took the win.
In other news, looks like Youzhny was up 5-1 in 1st set vs Djokovic, but now back to 5-4 as Youzhny continues to try to serve it out!
Update, April 16th
Milos Raonic & Bernard Tomic won their first-round doubles match against Cilic & Melo, 6-4, 7-6(3), 11-9. Milos vs. Nieminen is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 17th, 10:30am local time in Monte Carlo [1:30am PDT 4:30 EDT]
Update, April 15th
Original Post, April 14th
Milos is up 3rd on Court Central tomorrow, 15 Apr. The matches start at 10:30am local time in Monaco (4:30am Eastern (EDT)), so he'll probably be on around 9:30am...
He's up against Julien Benneteau of France, who has recently lost in the first round of Miami and Indian Wells and then lost his doubles match alongside Lldora during France's recent loss to Argentina in the Davis Cup quarterfinals. He did not play singles in last weekend's Davis Cup tie. Benneteau has only won one singles match since making the final in Rotterdam in mid-Feb, so there's no question he's in a slump and that he'll be hungry to bounce back after such disappointing results for the last 2 months.
In terms of head-to-head, Raonic and Benneteau have won a game each in their two meetings. Milos won their most recent meeting three sets to love, during last year's Davis Cup meeting between Canada and France (Canada's only win of that tie). Benneteau beat Raonic in Paris in 2011; a close match, Benneteau won the third set 6-4 after they'd each won a set by tie-break.
By the way, here's how I think the tournament will go : )
ATP World Tour Fantasy Draw: http://goo.gl/Ge7YE
Posted by wacb from WordPress for BlackBerry.
At times it’s easy to forget that Milos Raonic has only been competing on the main tour for two years. Raonic has made rapid progress since his stunning breakthrough at the 2011 Australian Open when he made the fourth round as a qualifier and we’re now accustomed to his name being bandied around as one of the most dangerous players outside of the top ten. It’s been a meteoric rise for the 22 year old who already has four ATP titles to his name and has established himself as a mainstay in the world’s top 20.
Raonic has all the tools to be a significant threat at the majors but there’s still some way for him to go before he starts troubling the likes of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray over best of five sets. However the promising thing for the youngster is that he’s already beaten Murray on the tour (on the clay of Barcelona in 2012) and come close to upsetting Roger Federer on multiple occasions even though there’s still plenty of room for improvement in his game.
He’s been making steady progress in the slams and he has been encouraged by his past two showings – reaching the fourth round at the US Open and the Australian Open, losing in straight sets to Murray and Federer. However before he can test the ‘Big Four’ on the biggest stage, he needs to improve his returning, often the Achilles heel of his game. The top four are all brilliant returners and experts at taming big servers and they know that if they can draw Raonic into longer rallies they can expose his sometimes lumbering movement and inconsistent backhand. And on their own serves, they don’t feel under so much pressure as they know they’ll get plenty of cheap points off the Raonic return.
Raonic admits as much himself but he feels he’s improving. “I think I'm getting quite better,” he told the media earlier this year, “I'm getting better in movement, more experience, how to deal with situations, my backhand, many things. My return game is getting better. All these kind of things I've worked on and I have a lot more belief and confidence in.”
“It's just really about incorporating them better into matches. Just sort of matching that (training) intensity in matches would definitely make a big difference. I think I'm getting closer (to the top four). I can't really put a time limit on it. The sooner the better. I just have to keep working away. When that opportunity comes up, I have to try to make the most of it.”
“The goal every day is to keep getting better, improve something every day. It's about sort of working away and hoping that time comes sooner than later, trying to make the most of it when it does. If you focus on those things too much, I think a lot of those things are out of my control. I try to focus on the things that I can control, that I have (a) say in. I can't really control if they're (the top four) getting better or how they are playing.”
Written by Raymond Doyle from Live-Tennis.com.
In reply to this blog post, tweeted by the Sports Editor at the Vancouver Sun, Milos said "let's do it Alex!!!". Could be a neat part of an exhibition match... Maybe other Canadian non-tennis athletes would like a shot, maybe line them all up have them take a few swings at it for a laugh.
Posted by wacb from WordPress for BlackBerry.
UPDATE (7 Apr) : Milos made quick work of Andreas Seppi today to send Canada to Davis Cup semi-finals. He did drop a set, but he seemed dominant throughout most of the match. SFs will be played in Serbia in September.
Check the @MilosRaonicBlog twitter feed for some pics and other info from today!
UPDATE (6 Apr) : Nestor and Pospisil won a long, 4.5-hour-or-so match against Fognini and Bracciali. 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 15-13. What a match! Singles tomorrow afternoon, where Milos and Pospisil will try to take Canada to semi-finals! An win by either Canadian tomorrow would get the job done and make further Canadian tennis history...
Milos will be up first in front of the Vancouver crowd against Andreas Seppi, currently ranked at career-high #18 and Italian #1.
UPDATE (5 Apr): Pospisil went down to Seppi. Raonic takes out Seppi. Canada's tied with Italy going into tomorrow's doubles match with Nestor/Pospisil trying to give #TeamCanada the lead. Raonic to face Seppi up first on Sunday, then Pospisil will face Fognini. Good (historic) weekend for Canadian tennis!
- Dancevic is out with a minor knee injury, Jesse Levigne replaces him as the spare.
- Pospisil playing singles first on Friday vs Seppi, then doubles w/ Nestor on Saturday, then scheduled for reverse singles on Sunday vs Seppi as the final match of the tie.
- Raonic will play Friday and Sunday as well, vs Fognini and Seppi respectively.
- SportsNet ONE will have coverage on TV all weekend, and it will be on RogersAnyplaceTV.com and www.itfteamevents.tv (official Davis Cup internet streamer).
- See their article here : bit.ly/Z4SnoY
- Link to article from DavisCup.ca below... Canada is ready and able to make further Davis Cup history and advance to Semi-Finals! Can't wait.
Posted by wacb from WordPress for BlackBerry.
Looks like Nadal's withdrawn from Miami, so won't be on court again until the clay courts in Europe. Looks like he's mounting a comeback against delPo now... Was down a set and a break, now up a break in the 2nd set... Looks like we'll see a 3rd!
By the way, Nadal's withdrawal means Milos will be seeded in the top 16 for Miami, as Daniel noted in a comment on the previous post... Draw still to come, and this should mean his path to the quarters is a little less painful!
Rafael Nadal has "Withdrawn" from Miami as expected.
So the Seeds are:
# 1 Nole # 2 Muzza # 3 Ferrer # 4 Berdych # 5 Delpo # 6 Tsonga # 7 Tipsarevic # 8 Gasquet
Milos will be seeded # 14
UPDATE - March 18: [From Daniel]
Milos got a pretty decent Draw in Miami:
1st Round BYE 2nd Round Winner of two Qualifiers 3rd Round Possible Winner of Querrey/Kubot Match Round of 16: Tomas Berdych
Reaching his Round of 16 Match should be doable. He did beat Berdych in Cincy last year. [...and if he gets past Berdych, it's Gasquet or Almagro, probably, in QF.]
Posted by wacb from WordPress for BlackBerry.
Update! (23 Mar, 1pm Eastern)
Looks like the Gasquet match is over on time, so the Radwanska match should start on time at 1pm Eastern on the Grandstand court. After this we have the Isner match, so we're probably going to see Milos at 4pm, 3:30pm Eastern at the earliest... Let's hope there's no rain or power outages in the mean time.
Coverage: There is a video feed from the Grandstand court today (yesterday there was not). This doesn't mean that this will be the feed SportsNet will show, but they should have the option. The Murray/Tomic match might still be on the Main Court, or the Venus Williams match might have started, so they could be showing that...
Update again: Aggy's match just got over, so Isner match just starting as we wait for Milos on Grandstand. Maybe 5:30pm EDT before it starts?
** FLASH ** Watch the match now [6:30pm Eastern] on Sportsnet.ca >> http://www.sportsnet.ca/sportsnet-live/ << Thanks Sportsnet!
Update: Milos wins rather easily, 6-2, 6-4. A relaxed and confident Milos is set to take on Sam Querrey in 3rd Rnd!
UPDATE - March 24:
Milos is scheduled to play Sam Querrey on Grandstand tomorrow, Monday, March 25th, not before 5pm EDT (after Berdych v Falla). There are 4 matches before that match, which begin at 11am, so it may be a little later. Hopefully Sportsnet ONE will carry the match.
Milos, seeded 17th, has a bye in the first round; in the second round he will meet the winner of M. Llodra v a Qualifier. A win in that match will take Milos to a third-round meeting with M. Cilic (12th seed) (or possibly H. Zeballos or A. Ramos). If successful vs Cilic, Milos' fourth-round opponent will likely be 8th seed JW. Tsonga.
Last year Milos came in seeded 27th, won his second-round match in straight sets, then met Roger Federer in the third round. Milos won the first set, but Roger won the match, then went on to win the tournament, having dropped a total of only two sets. I think it's fair to say that Milos stands a better chance this year of making it to the fourth round (R16); and he could have done worse than Tsonga there as a potential opponent. If Milos plays Roger this year it will be at the Final.
Meanwhile, congratulations to our other Canadians who made it Canadian Bagel Day in round one of the Quallies: Vasek, Frank and Jesse all won their matches, all three with a 6-0 set. >> http://www.tenniscanada.com/index.php?title=Canadians-Perfect-on-Day-Two-in-Indian-Wells&pid=4421 << Not so perfect in second round: Vasek through to main draw 61 62, but tough losses for Frank (36 76) and Jesse (26 57).
Milos is teaming up with Feliciano Lopez for doubles; they play 3rd seed Daniel Nestor & Mahesh Bhupathi in round one.
TV coverage in Canada from Indian Wells will be on Sportsnet ONE, starting Saturday, March 9 from 11am to 9pm Pacific Time; see: http://www.sportsnet.ca/schedule/ <<
UPDATE (March 9) -- Milos & Lopez have just pulled off a straight-sets upset 64 76(4) over 3-seed doubles team Bhupati & Nestor [Sorry, Daniel.] In round 2 they will play M. Fish & J. Blake (unseeded). Meanwhile, Michael Llodra has withdrawn (hip) giving Milos a walkover to singles round 3, where he will meet A. Ramos or M. Cilic. The down-side is less match play, in preparation for what will be a tough round 3 match; hopefully the extra doubles match will make up for that. [Llodra: http://www.sport365.fr/tennis/atp/indian-wells-llodra-declare-forfait-contre-raonic-993225.shtml ]
UPDATE (March 10) -- Milos & Fely vs Fish & Blake 3rd up on Court 7 Monday, March 11; Milos vs Marin Cilic Tuesday, March 12.
UPDATE (March 11) -- Milos Raonic and Feliciano Lopez lost to home-country favourites tonight in 2nd rnd of doubles, Blake and Fish, in straights 6-3, 6-3. Milos is up tomorrow versus Marin Cilic at 2PM Eastern (EDT). They are the first match on Stadium 3 court, which starts at 11AM local time. Milos has yet to play a singles match in the tournament; his first and seconds rounds were a bye and a walkover, respectively. Looks like Sportsnet ONE's coverage doesn't start until 4PM EDT, so hopefully they run in tape-delay of a couple of hours or they change their schedule! You can always just google "watch live tennis" and watch it that way, if that's your only option... Sportsnet's schedule: < http://www.sportsnet.ca/schedule/ >
UPDATE (March 12) -- Milos has come out ahead of Cilic, as predicted (see comments below!). Milos dropped the first set and came back to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. We will have a Raonic / Tsonga 4th round match-up to come, sched TBD. AP article from CBC: < http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/sports/tennis/story/2013/03/12/sp-atp-indian-wells-milos-raonic.html >
UPDATE (March 13) -- Milos Raonic will take on Jo-Willy Tsonga on Stadiun Court 2 after a doubles match which begins at 11 AM local time. This should put them on court around 4PM Eastern (EDT). This should be a great match, and would set us up for an awesome QF versus Nolé should Milos win... Go Milos!
UPDATE (March 13, again) -- Another missed opportunity! An early break, dominant play, and Milos is up a set. Continued strong play, serving to make it 6-6, for a tie-break which he would probably win, one loose game and Tsonga is off the hook, has taken the second set 7-5. Third set, not playing as well but hanging in, heading for another tiebreak, another loose set, with DF on match point, and it's all over: Tsonga d. Raonic 46 75 64.
Another update: here's a youtube vid of ATP's "Hot Shot" from the match. http://t.co/gwEGu6K21i